Posted by: Alicia Phillips | December 15, 2012

What’s New?

You may (or may not) be wondering what in the world that girl you used to know is doing on that tiny island in the South Pacific. You haven’t heard from her in a few months and she used to blog about her experiences all the time but she stopped writing and you haven’t heard from her since! Did she get eaten by a shark? Did she move back home and not tell anyone? Did she give up on her American ways and move to a village and turn into a full blown local? Did the CIA find her and want her to be a spy for them? Or did she just get lazy and stop writing? Alas…..I am sorry to say, it is the later.

It is difficult for me to find material to write about because everything has become so common place to me now……things don’t seem so foreign to me anymore and it seems silly for me to write about things that seem so normal. However, I do feel bad for not writing- I know I’ll regret it one day so it’s a 2013 resolution to pick it back up. So let’s start back up with a little update on what’s been going on and where I am in my service.

#1- My service

I have been here for about 19 months by now.  19 MONTHS! Crazy….. I feel so at home here, so comfortable with my surroundings and my job and my role as a volunteer. I actually get really nervous when I think about coming home in 6 months. What’s it going to be like? I’m so used to living the simple life, how will I feel when I am thrown in to the whirlwind that is America? I don’t want to go back to a life where people are in relationships with their electronics and you can’t have a decent conversation with someone without them playing on their fancy phones.  Where there are fast food restaurants on every corner serving you fake food, or where people are stressed out and sleep deprived and always in a hurry! What the hell am I going to do once I get home?! Where am I going to live? And work? And this is when the panic sets in……

#2- My Love Life

I got myself a boyfriend. Oh yes, yes indeed. His name is Asaeli and he is pretty great. He is a straight up Fijian village boy, lives in a gorgeous little village on the beach; we snorkel with dolphins and play in waterfalls when I go visit him. He is helping me with my Fijian and is teaching me SO much about life in Fiji, their culture and ways of doing things, and his views on America and the rest of the world. He is unlike anyone I’ve ever known before……actually he is about as far away as you can get from anyone I’ve ever even met before.  I don’t want to get too sappy…..so just know that he is great.

Asaeli and me on the sea

Asaeli and me on the sea

#3- My Work

Work is slow right now…..and when I say slow I mean it’s at a standstill. The holiday season, also the hot season, is here and that is when people from work sort of stop showing up. Most people take the entire month of December off.  SO I followed suit…..why not? When in Fiji do as the Fijians do. So I am keeping myself busy with a wide array of new hobbies. I’m learning some songs on the ukulele, I have been swimming A LOT, been doing some hobie cat sailing, started taking tennis lessons, playing a lot of poker, thinking of joining an outrigger canoe team in the new year, as well as a hashing group. I’m also playing around with the idea of becoming scuba diving certified. I’m staying busy…..that’s for sure. Peace Corps is all about getting out of your comfort zone and trying new things….and that’s exactly what I’m doing.

Me and my Ukulele

Me and my Ukulele

Me and the 2 person catamaran I learned how to  sail

Me and the 2 person catamaran I learned how to sail

#4- My Attempt at Modeling

I get to cross off an item from my life time bucket list: I was a run way model in a fashion show! A designer was showing her collection during Fiji Fashion Week and she asked me to be in the show! Not only was I in the show but I was the “showstopper”. That just means I was the last girl to walk out and I walked out with the designer.  It was quite the experience and I can say confidently that I never want to do it again.

DSC04462

#5- Cyclone Evan

I’m experiencing my first big big cyclone here in the South Pacific. Cyclone Evan is headed to Fiji as I type, building momentum to a category 5 hurricane. It devastated Samoa a few days ago and has been on a collision course towards Fiji ever since. So it should be an interesting few days.

Fiji is the two little islands right in the path of the cyclone

Fiji is the two little islands right in the path of the cyclone

#6- Tentative Post Peace Corps Plans…

There for a while I had a lot of ideas going around in my head about what to do post Peace Corps. There was the option of staying another year, or volunteering with the United Nations, maybe applying for a job as a Foreign Service Officer, or even applying for a job here in Fiji with the World Health Organization. The more and more I thought about it the more and more I realized that I need a Master’s degree if I want to do anything in Public Health. So that decided it…..I’m headed back to school to get my masters in Public Health. Yay! Now……where should I go??

However….I leave Fiji in June/July. School won’t start until late August or Sept……what should I do for those few weeks in between? Glad you asked…..I’m taking my ass to Southeast Asia to do a little exploring before I head back to the good ole’ US of A. It will be nice to get off this island! But something tells me I’m going to spend the rest of my life longing to come back here.

So next year will be a big year! Everyone have a great Christmas and New Years! Next year I’ll be home! 






Responses

  1. Very nice Alicia. Stay safe during the Cyclone. Super Storm Sandy just devastated parts of New York and New Jersey, so these storms are really something to be in awe of. Be prepared. Lots of bottled water and food, and wine, if you will. Where are you going to graduate school? You will do good with your life, which I knew even before meeting you last June.


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